Vertigo’s newest announcement of a coming miniseries is the porting over of a licensed property a good thirty years old. Bringing the Mad Max franchise over to DC’s Vertigo imprint, Mad Max: Fury Road Nux and Immortan Joe #1 starts up a strange pairing of film and comics. Set for a May 20th release, the Previews solicitation for this reads:
In a fallen world ravaged by oil and water wars, humanity exists without law or mercy. All those who wander the Wasteland are ruled by a single imperative…survive!
Among them is Max Rockatansky, a Road Warrior haunted by his turbulent past…
“It’s hard to know who is more crazy.
Me or everyone else?!”
In this first issue, witness the rise of Colonel Joe Moore, a war hero turned tyrannical warlord…The Immortan Joe!
And don’t miss the story of Nux, one of the Immortan’s “War Boys,” who knows only the chaos into which he was born.
From the mind of George Miller, the creator of the Mad Max trilogy, comes a brand new epic tale that serves as a prelude to the upcoming film, Mad Max: Fury Road!
With art by Leandro Fernandez and Roccardo Burchielli, it promises to most likely be a beautifully constructed post-Apocalyptic libertarian dystopia, continuing a long-standing commitment in vertigo to dystopian science fiction. This, in a lot of ways, may be the sister book to the recent Suiciders addition to the Vertigo line-up.
While people may be excited to see a new volume of Mad Max, and at this point it is not surprising to see ancient properties revamped for comics releases, the question really comes up whether or not we should celebrate the use of the Vertigo imprint for these kinds of licensed properties. Traditionally Vertigo was a place to expand what you thought comics could do, bringing in literary and deconstructionist work that blew the door off of the limits of the medium. This is functionally different than just being an “adult” imprint for DC. With the addition of things like Django Unchained and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, it feels as though Vertigo is now simply becoming a place to funnel the same kind of tired licensed properties that are directed towards a more mature audience. If DC wants to maintain Vertigo’s brand identity, they need to do it by having unrestrained quality rather than just things with an “R rating.”